Sudden death in athletes is a rare event but brings with it an impact that goes beyond sport. There are many causes of sudden death during exercise. While the responsibility of preventing or treating them lays with us physicians, preparticipation screening is largely ineffective and impractical. Definitive, large scale prospective research is required in order to design the most cost-effective system for screening of athletes. In the meanwhile rapid access to defibrillators by trained personnel remains the best possible approach to abort sudden death.